Mailer on abortion, top Kansas court described as deceptive

Nov 4, 2022, 3:06 AM | Updated: 3:31 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A mailer to voters across Kansas suggests removing state Supreme Court justices in Tuesday’s election would protect access to abortion, when abortion rights advocates want to keep them on the bench.

The mailer’s return address says it is from VMCF Inc., of Lenexa, a Kansas City suburb. For a brief time in October, that was the legal name of a charitable foundation run by a prominent Republican direct mail firm’s owner, state records show.

One side says “Kansans pushed back” against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in late June to overturn Roe v. Wade. Voters in August decisively rejected a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution. The mailer includes the logo of the pro-amendment side with a red “X” through it.

The mailer’s opposite side urges no votes Tuesday on retaining state Supreme Court justices. Six of the seven justices are on the ballot for yes-or-no votes on whether they stay on the bench another six years.

“LET THEM HEAR YOU AGAIN!” the mailer says under a bigger “NO!”

Abortion rights groups want to retain the justices, and Kansans for Life, the state’s most influential anti-abortion group, wants to oust five of the six. The court in 2019 ruled that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the Kansas Constitution, spurring GOP legislators to push the proposed anti-abortion amendment.

“It’s clearly designed to misinform,” said state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a Kansas City-area Democrat, whose daughter was sent a mailer.

An online state records search for VMCF brought up documents for the nonprofit Van Meteren Charitable Foundation Inc. and showed that it switched from the longer name to the shorter one on Oct. 24 and back on Oct. 31.

Its 2021 annual report listed the same address as the return address on the mailer. Its only officer was Kristian Van Meteren, who owns the The Singularis Group direct mail firm, also in the Kansas City area. He did not immediately return telephone messages Friday seeking comment.


The summary and 2nd paragraph of this story have been corrected to show that the company named on the mailer is VMCF, not KMCF.


Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

24 hours ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

2 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

2 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

3 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

4 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

5 days ago

Mailer on abortion, top Kansas court described as deceptive